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Chennai based auto manufacturer, TVS Motor Company, has announced, after it acquired British motorcycle manufacturer last week, that it had no plans of moving production of Norton Motorcycles to India.
The Indian brand acquired Norton Motorcycles in an all-cash deal at nearly GBP 16 million (just over Rs 150 crore). The company said that manufacturing will continue in the United Kingdom.
Mr Sudarshan Venu, the Joint Managing Director at TVS Motor Company said that the team at Norton in the UK is very capable, and that the same design and assembly team will be retained although the brand is now owned by TVS.
According to carandbike, TVS feels that the British manufacturing unit produces fantastic motorcycles, and they will focus on strengthening their global offerings instead of relocating production to India.
The TVS Motor Company now exclusively owns Norton Motorcycles, and is planning to relocate its headquarters from Donington Hall in the United Kingdom to a new address within the same vicinity.
The Indian brand will leverage all the expertise of the existing design and engineering teams, and aims to re-establish Norton as a premium motorcycle brand across the globe. The brand however, will not retain any of Norton's old management team.
Mr Venu said, "In Europe the location is in Derby, in Donington Hall. We will move to another new location very soon, in the same region. The idea is to continue with this very talented team to get the brand back to its original glory, and take it into the future."
"We're taking over all the employees except a few, which is basically the old management, who we're not taking over. The strong design team and assembly team is coming over to us, and we will look to leverage their strength and work with them to deliver more bikes of this storied brand," he added
Mr Venu also shot down any speculation that TVS would move production of Norton Motorcycles to India to make the motorcycles cost effective. The company said that the Norton is a premium brand and that TVS has no intention of changing that.
The company has also ruled out manufacturing of small displacement motorcycles under the Norton brand. The brand currently offers the 961cc Norton Dominator, and the 650cc Norton Commando.
The company also said that while the Commando 650 cc offers the same displacement as Royal Enfield's 650 cc twin models, the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650, TVS does not intend to compete with them.
Mr Venu said, "Norton is a brand which delights this unique segment of customers around the world, with these very high-end and powerful engines. So, the idea is to build on that legacy and those products, and focus on them for now."
"We want to focus on this premium segment, or this really premium segment which Norton caters to. I think there is where the glory is which Norton had, and restore it and take it to the future," he added.
Thoughts About TVS Motor Company Continuing With Production Of Norton Motorcycles In The United Kingdom
This is a smart move by TVS Motor Company. There's no point fixing something that isn't broken. In addition, TVS' decision to concentrate on re-establishing Norton as a premium brand makes more sense than moving production to India and offering Norton machines that compete with Royal Enfield. Besides, we think no foreign manufacturer can match the price tag at which RE sells its 650 offerings.